Friday, October 28, 2011

Anthony Bourdain vs. Eric Ripert

For some unexplained reason, I have a crush on Anthony Bourdain.  In my book, anybody who can use snark so effectively AND get paid for it, is a genius.  Plus, he's survived eating warthog anus in Namibia, so he's obviously tough as nails (surprisingly, since his spindly frame makes him look as frail as a 96 year old great-grandmother navigating the freshly waxed halls of her rest home with her tennis ball tipped walker).   He came to speak in Durham a few years back and J forgot to get tickets (I know--doghouse for a loooong time over that one).  When my fabulous friend Lisa told me Bourdain, along with his friend Eric Ripert, were coming to Charlotte, it was mandatory that we attend.  Either that, or J would have to build a much larger doghouse.

Tickets acquired, we parked half a mile away with about 10 minutes to spare.  J sprinted to the place like he was a fat kid running to the last call at the Golden Corral buffet.  I had on my fabulous red patent leather heels and tried to keep up with him.  I even debated taking them off and going barefoot, but the ick factor was too much--I'd rather look like a baby giraffe having seizures while on ice skates than succumb to some feet entering parasitic worms.

The Blumenthal Center is massively massive.  Turns our out seats were so far away, I think we sat on the top of the parking garage from where we'd just sprinted.  Perhaps my favorite part were the boxes on the sides:
Brought back memories of Statler & Waldorf from The Muppet Show

The first half of the show was good.  Anthony asking Eric questions in the hot seat and vice versa.

Looks like our seats weren't too bad from this pic.  Here's the pic without the mega zoom.

See how tiny they are there?  That's how far away we were.  For the record, that's Anthony standing and Eric sitting.  At least I think it is.  They could be stagehands dressed accordingly, or even puppets (as far as I could tell).  In case you don't know what they look like in person, I snapped a pic of the program.

If my Picnik editing skills were any better, I'd put these heads onto those stick figures on the stage, but they stink, so we're just left to imagine what they looked like close up.

The Q&A session was funny and very entertaining.  These two play very well off each other.  I dare say that Ripert stole the spotlight from Bourdain with his charming accent and impeccable timing.  I'm not officially going on record as saying that because Tony probably has his minions and they know people, know what I'm saying?

Unlike sports, where the first half is played just to get to the second half, Good Vs. Evil was better with just the first half.  After the questions on the hot seat, they settled into two cushy looking chairs, popped open drinks and forgot they were there to entertain us.  I think they discussed things as sustainability and farm to table, but I zoned out.  As J put it, yes, these are topics which need discussion, but not in that arena.  We paid to be entertained and to badly quote Nirvana--here we are now, entertain us!  We paid $90 for those stinking seats.  If we want to hear those debates, we can listen to Lynn Rosetto Casper and the Splendid Table for free on NPR!

Luckily Lulu must have felt that I needed entertaining, as she started sending me texts.  She had pulled a tooth and her fish died.  At least it kept me from going to sleep.  Once the questions from the audience started (which, should have been more appropriately called "fan gushing"), we beat a hasty retreat.  After all, we had to hurry home to perform a burial at sea and ensure that all things were set to go for the arrival of the Tooth Fairy.

I'm very glad that I finally got to see Tony.  At least what I think might have been him.

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